Quercus suber L. is a species confined to the centre and western Mediterranean basin. On the island of Sardinia its distribution is limited mainly by soils. Apart from its economic significance to local communities, cork oak habitats are recognised as having both cultural and biodiversity value at a European level. Although traditionally associated with human activities these habitats are today under increasing threat. Among the problems that affect cork oak habitats on the island are soil erosion and loss of organic matter due to ploughing and seeding for pasture. Stock numbers have increased while grazing cattle have been replaced by sheep and are proven to be particularly damaging especially to cork oak regeneration. Although the species is a passive pyrophyte, frequent fires render the trees susceptible to fungal and defoliator attacks and destroy the understory leading to soil degradation and erosion. This paper provides a review of these threats and explores their link to the changes resulting from abandonment of traditional farming methods and different management systems used in Sardinia.

Human impacts on Quercus suber habitats in Sardinia: past and present

BACCHETTA, GIANLUIGI
2005

Abstract

Quercus suber L. is a species confined to the centre and western Mediterranean basin. On the island of Sardinia its distribution is limited mainly by soils. Apart from its economic significance to local communities, cork oak habitats are recognised as having both cultural and biodiversity value at a European level. Although traditionally associated with human activities these habitats are today under increasing threat. Among the problems that affect cork oak habitats on the island are soil erosion and loss of organic matter due to ploughing and seeding for pasture. Stock numbers have increased while grazing cattle have been replaced by sheep and are proven to be particularly damaging especially to cork oak regeneration. Although the species is a passive pyrophyte, frequent fires render the trees susceptible to fungal and defoliator attacks and destroy the understory leading to soil degradation and erosion. This paper provides a review of these threats and explores their link to the changes resulting from abandonment of traditional farming methods and different management systems used in Sardinia.
agro-silvopastoral systems; cork oak; habitat quality; landscape changes; sclerophyllous forests
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: https://hdl.handle.net/11584/18033
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